Hameed Juma Ebrahim's Leg Workout From Hell

This Iranian-born champion's lower body is propelling him to the top in Britain.


He starts with 20 to 25 reps and reduces gradually to 12 as the weight gets heavier. “I don’t believe in doing six to eight reps,” he says. “Muscles need more stimulation.” That’s a lot of lifting, but because he rests for only 30 seconds between sets, he’s usually done in 90 minutes, except on leg days. He trains alone to keep the pace fast.

For cardio, he combines morning HIIT with evening LISS, favoring the StairMaster or treadmill. “I try to stay as lean as I can all year,” he says. “I don’t go over 227 pounds.”

Legs, unsurprisingly, are his favorite body part to train. Before he competed he heard numerous competitors get slated for weak legs and was determined it would never happen to him. “It got in my mind that if I compete, I had to have good legs,” he says. Squat is king. “I love back squats but even more the front squat,” he says. “It’s good for quad sweep and puts less stress on my back.”

A typical lower-body session includes 20 to 25 sets for quads, 16 to 18 for hamstrings, eight for calves and 12 for glutes. “It takes me about 1 hour and 45 minutes,” he says. The workout he’s devised will focus on your quads and hamstrings. 


“Put small plates under your toes to give you more of a stretch in the hamstring. Aim for a full stretch down and squeeze coming up, which will also work the glutes.” 


"To hit the upper quads, bring your body forward on the seat and lean down."


“Position your feet shoulder-width apart again. To get more of a pump, I sometimes do one full rep followed by one-half rep, or I do eight reps then stop five seconds and do five more reps, then I rest for five seconds and do three more reps.” 


“I do five reps, squeeze and pause, then 10 more. Doing these standing helps me feel it in the hamstring more.” 


“I do double lunges on each leg. It takes more e ort and gives more of a pump in hamstrings and glutes. Really squeeze the glutes when you come up.” 


“For leg training I try to vary things as much as possible to shock the muscle and bring out deeper lines. I do high volume most sessions. I do quads and hams together, but I will start with quads one session, then hamstrings next time to give equal focus. Another thing that has helped this year is buying a StairMaster for cardio at home. Climbing stairs made my legs harder and more conditioned. I try to do single-leg exercises like standing leg curl, leg extensions, or single-leg leg press so both legs develop the same. The basic squat is essential in my training, and I put my energy in those sets along with deadlifts for hamstring. I also incorporate rest/pause at the top of the contraction in many exercises, such as leg extensions, to bring out deeper cuts when coming into a show.”